Dry Eye and other Eye Diseases
A quick look at some of the most common eye diseases diagnosed and often treated at Premier Vision in Amarillo
“Eye diseases” is a blanket term that refers to a host of diseases relating to the function of the eye. Below we describe some of the more common types of eye diseases and how they are generally treated. For more in-depth information, please speak with your eye care provider at Premier Vision.
Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is an infection or inflammation of the conjunctiva – the thin, protective membrane that covers the surface of the eyeball and inner surface of the eyelids. Caused by bacteria, viruses, allergens and other irritants like smoke and dust, pink eye can be highly contagious and is usually accompanied by redness in the white of the eye and increased tearing and/or discharge.
While many minor cases improve within two weeks, some can develop into serious corneal inflammation and threaten sight. If you suspect conjunctivitis, visit your eye care provider at Premier Vision for an examination and treatment.
Diabetic Eye Disease
Diabetic eye disease is a general term for a group of eye problems that can result from having type 1 or type 2 diabetes, including diabetic retinopathy, cataracts and glaucoma.
Often there are no symptoms in the early stages of diabetic eye disease, so it is important that you don’t wait for symptoms to appear before having a comprehensive eye exam. Early detection and treatment of diabetic eye disease will dramatically reduce your chances of sustaining permanent vision loss.
Often called “the silent thief of sight,” glaucoma produces an increase in the intraocular pressure of the eyes and results in damage to the optic nerve with no signs or symptoms in the early stages of the disease. If left untreated, glaucoma can lead to a decrease in peripheral vision and eventually blindness.
While there is no cure for glaucoma, there are medications and surgery available that can help halt further vision loss. Early detection and regular eye exams are vital to slowing the progress of the disease.
Blepharitis is a general term for an inflammation of the eyelid and eyelashes. It is among the most common and stubborn eye conditions usually resulting from poor eyelid hygiene, a low-grade bacterial infection (usually staphylococcal), an allergic reaction and/or abnormalities in oil gland function.
Like some other skin conditions, blepharitis can be controlled but not cured. The main goals in treating it are to reduce the amount of bacteria along the lid margin and open obstructed glands. Contact Premier Vision to assess the severity of your problem and the best treatment method.
A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s normally clear lens, which leads to a progressive blurring or dimming of vision. It is the world’s leading cause of reversible blindness and among the most common conditions related to aging – by age 65, you have a 50 percent chance of developing a cataract, and, by age 75, it jumps to 70 percent.
A cataract starts out small and initially has little or no effect on vision. As the cataract progresses, it becomes harder to read and perform other normal tasks. In the early stages, your doctor may recommend stronger lenses and adjusting your lighting to reduce glare. When cataracts disrupt your daily life, your doctor may recommend cataract-removal surgery, which is one of the most frequent and successful procedures done in the U.S
Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry eye is a common disease that affects the eye. Our Texas Panhandle climate often causes it to be worse. Patients who suffer from dry eye disease have trouble with vision that blurs frequently, red and irritated eyes, eye fatigue, and feelings of grittiness. Sometimes, eyes will water too much when the tear film is unstable.
Dry eye negatively impacts a patient’s quality of life on a daily basis. It’s progressive, which means it gets worse over time. And, it’s chronic. The evaporative form of dry eye occurs when the tear quality is poor and accounts for up to 85% of patients with dry eye. Patients with this form notice their eyes water in the cold or the wind.
In 2011, the FDA approved a new treatment that helps those patients with poor tear quality. The LipiFlow procedure helps to flush the glands that keep the tear film stable. This allows the natural oils to flow freely and improves tear quality. As a result, patients’ eyes feel better and they may not need supplemental eye drops.
Premier Vision is the first and most experienced provider to bring you this treatment option between Dallas and Denver. True relief from Dry Eye and improved vision may only be a phone call away. Call today to schedule your evaluation. 806-356-6868
Macular degeneration is a chronic, progressive disease that gradually destroys sharp central vision due to a deterioration of the macula, a tiny spot in the central portion of your retina comprised of millions of light-sensing cells. Because it is so commonly associated with aging, it is also known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). There are two forms of AMD called “dry,” most common and with no known treatment, and “wet,” less common and treated with injections and rarely, laser procedures. Genetic testing is now available to help identify those most likely to develop “wet” macular degeneration.
In most cases, reversing damage caused by AMD is not possible, but supplements, protection from sunlight, eating a balanced diet and quitting smoking can reduce the risk and progression of macular degeneration. For suggestions, speak with your eye care provider at Premier Vision.
Premier Vision has the experience and equipment necessary to diagnose and often treat the eye diseases detailed above, as well as many other eye diseases, at our office in Amarillo. For more information please schedule an appointment with your optometrist, and we’ll be in touch with you shortly.